News Item
The Honorable Jay D. Carlson re-elected as Seventh Judicial District Chief Judge

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy re-elected to serve as Assistant Chief Judge

The Honorable Jay D. Carlson has been re-elected to serve his second consecutive two-year term as chief judge of Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District by his fellow judges. The Honorable Sarah E. Hennesy was also re-elected to serve as assistant chief judge of the Seventh District.
Judge Carlson was appointed to the bench in August 2006. Prior to his appointment, Judge Carlson was in private practice for 25 years. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul in 1979, and his Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from St. John’s University in Collegeville in 1976. Judge Carlson is chambered in the Becker County Courthouse in Detroit Lakes.
“I am grateful for my colleagues’ renewed support of my leadership of the Seventh Judicial District,” said Judge Carlson. “I look forward to continuing to serve the District with Assistant Chief Judge Hennesy. We are eager to continue our advocacy for improved access to justice, more effective administration, and increased public trust and confidence for our Greater Minnesota district courts.”
Judge Hennesy was appointed to the bench in February 2012. She previously served as staff attorney for St. Cloud Area Legal Services from 2006 to 2012. She earned her juris doctorate degree from Drake Law School in Des Moines, IA, in 1994, and her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Central College in Pella, IA, in 1991. Her chambers are located in the Stearns County Courthouse in St. Cloud.
By statute, the chief judge of a judicial district exercises general administrative authority over the courts within the district, including assigning judges to serve in locations throughout the district. The chief judge of each judicial district also serves as a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, the administrative policy-making authority for the Minnesota Judicial Branch.
Chief judges and assistant chief judges are elected to two-year terms by the judges within the district. No judge may serve as chief judge or assistant chief judge for more than two consecutive two-year terms. The new two-year terms begin on July 1, 2019.